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Warriors Coach Steve Kerr Makes Powerful Call For Background Checks After Latest Mass Shootings

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- A longtime advocate for gun control, Golden State Warriors Head Coach Steve Kerr made a heartfelt plea for stricter gun laws Tuesday in the wake of the two recent mass shootings in Atlanta and Boulder.

Kerr made the comments speaking with the media in San Francisco before the Warriors' game against the 76ers at the Chase Center.

Kerr addressed the media with the names of each victim from Monday's mass shooting in Boulder as well as last week's slayings in Atlanta appearing on the screen behind him.

"I think it's, first of all, important to reference their names. These are human beings. These are people who have been lost. And the thought of the mothers and fathers -- sisters, brothers, daughters and sons -- who are grieving right now with the loss of the people behind me is just devastating, particularly in the wake of what is just a common occurrence in our country," said Kerr in his opening comments.

He went on to voice his support for HR 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021, a law that he noted has been passed by the House of Representatives twice but is once again facing Republican opposition in the U.S. Senate.

Kerr was also critical of comments made earlier in the day by Republican Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who called demands for stricter gun control laws in the wake of the recent shootings "ridiculous theater."

"Ted Cruz, this could be your family, this could be your friend. This could be someone very close to you. If it happened, would you not want there to be something in place where there was a background check?" Kerr asked. "It is just mind boggling to me that we can just continue to cater to the very small minority in this country. Again, 90% of Americans, regardless of political affiliation, support background checks."

Kerr, whose father Malcom Kerr was assassinated by terrorists in Beirut in 1984 when he was serving as president of the American University of Beirut, has long been vocal about gun control.

Back in 2018, Kerr appeared at an East Bay high school with Congressman Ro Khanna for a town hall meeting on gun violence.

Kerr offered a message to the young people in attendance: You are our only hope for change.

"What's inspiring to me, is that -- Ro mentioned this -- I'm not going to be able to do it, Ro's not going to be able to do it," said Kerr. "The old guys can't do it. It's the young people. You guys are doing it. It's the next generation. The youth."

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